Will Amazon Tap Alexa To Challenge PayPal In Money Transfers?

Add Amazon.com (AMZN) and its voice-activated Alexa digital assistant to the growing list of rivals aiming to take on the money transfer service of PayPal Holdings’ (PYPL) Venmo.


Shares in PayPal plunged 4% to close at 73.86 on the stock market today amid a Wall Street Journal report that Amazon is mulling whether to use Alexa to start a person-to-person payment service like Venmo. Amazon dropped 3.2% to 1,405.23, but that was after President Donald Trump said he would order a review of government policies that might affect Amazon.

Apple (AAPL) and Square (SQ) are among companies that have already launched Venmo-like services. Zelle, also a person-to-person payment app, was launched by 30 U.S. banks in September.

With Venmo, consumers link a bank account to a smartphone app and send money to friends or family using an email address.

Amazon uses artificial intelligence tools to make its Alexa digital assistant useful for shopping and other tasks. Alexa is built into Amazon’s popular Echo-branded home appliances. Echo owners would need to link their bank accounts to their Amazon account to enable money transfers.

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